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LOS ANGELES -- Major League Baseball has now been dragged into the Donald Sterling fiasco in the form of Dodgers superstar outfielder Matt Kemp.
Sterling, the owner of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, is under fire for racist comments he made to girlfriend V. Stiviano, who is Mexican and black. That tape was released to TMZ.com, but a different part of the tape not previously released was leaked to Deadspin.com and that version makes mention of Kemp, who took a picture with Stiviano that she then posted on Instagram as she did with Dodgers part-owner Magic Johnson.
Kemp was stunned to see his name mentioned with Sterling's when he woke up Sunday morning.
"I was shocked," Kemp said. "I was really shocked. I haven't been to a basketball game since maybe last year, and I did take my mom. I met the young lady, I've known her through mutual people. We all sat in the same [area].
"I remember taking the picture, but I didn't think it would ever come to this. This is crazy."
Stiviano's lawyer released a statement Sunday afternoon that stated the tapes carrying the purported voices of Stiviano and Sterling were "legitimate." The quotes came from approximately an hour's worth of recorded conversation, which Stiviano says she did not leak to the media.
As Johnson did Saturday, Kemp went on to denounce Sterling's comments about not wanting people he associates with to associate with black people.
"Racism is kinda old. For real," said Kemp, who is friends with Clippers guard Chris Paul and forward Blake Griffin. "Honestly, I just feel sorry for him that he feels that way about African-American people. I feel sorry for my boys on that team that have to play for a guy like that.
"That's just not acceptable."
Kemp also said he could never play for an owner like Sterling and that if he were under contract in an organization run by him, he would "figure out a way not to be in that situation anymore."
Kemp was asked if he agreed with Johnson, who said Sterling should no longer own the team and that he would not attend anymore Clippers games. Kemp did not hesitate to sign onto those statements.
"There's just no room for racism in any of our games," Kemp said. "That would be tough [for me to attend games]. I mean, what is a suspension going to do? He still owns the team. He's still making money. Do you fine him? He's a billionaire. What is fining him going to do?
"This is bigger than the game. I'm just shocked that people still feel that way toward Latins, blacks, white people. We are all the same. We all bleed the same."